Big hits on the big screen: Victoria & Abdul

Abigail Hecht

Dame Judi Dench and Bollywood star Ali Fazal commemorate an unlikely bond between
Queen Victoria and an Indian commoner, Abdul Karim, in this beguiling biopic.
Unlike most historical films, Victoria & Abdul, is neither dull nor dragging, and presents the story through an engaging plot and playful wit. Though historical pictures tend to lean towards older audiences, Victoria & Abdul provides the audience with humor suitable for all ages, ensuring each viewer leaves with a smile.
Azi Fazal dazzles audiences as Abdul Karim, a spunky Indian who gets caught up in British royalty business, simply because of his tall stature. Fazal adds the much necessary lightheartedness through a delightfully realistic portrayal of Abdul, during a time of great political strife and turmoil.
Judi Dench does not disappoint either, rightfully so, and delivers a royally grand performance as Queen Victoria. Dame Dench proves she is still in her prime, by mixing her mature charm with childlike whimsy, giving the famous monarch a just enough realness to touch her audiences.
The beautiful cinematography presented by director Stephen Frears provides colorful scenes, ranging from the bright hues from India and in the British palace, to effectively dull greys and beiges of servant quarters and Indian slums. The film’s delightfulness is balanced by a bittersweet conclusion, tugging the audience’s  heartstrings all the way to the end credit.